To The Pumpkin House

I am sitting next to a creek on my aunt and uncle’s property in West Virginia as I write this. Pictures cannot show you the beauty and serenity of my current surroundings – nor do I have the writing skills to describe it. All around me are the sounds of birds, the rustle of leaves, and breaking of branches from some animal (bear?!?!?!). Charlie has made himself a bed out of the weeds in the shade of a super tall tree. Sometimes I really wish I knew how to identify plants (leaves of three – let them be) . . . Alas, I did not pay enough attention when my grandfather tried to teach me plant names. The sounds of nature are all I hear, yet I am polluting it with the tapping of my keyboard. (I did create a short video, but don’t make fun of how I look. 92% HUMIDITY!!!! Not sure if it is my super slow internet or the video quality, but it isn’t a great video on my end).

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The “creek” (need a bit of rain) that I am sitting near

The last few weeks have been so full of life and love. I have met so many people and seen so many different places. I have traveled only 3600 miles but feel like I have been to the moon. My heart is full. My soul is singing. I have not felt such peace within myself in a very long time. There are only three things that could make it better: 1. Less humidity (I am so swollen in the heat that my fingers are fat), 2. Having my daughter with me for a short while as I miss her and am sad that I missed being with her on her birthday yesterday, and 3. Sharing these feelings of tranquility with the one who holds my heart.

When we left Acadia, Charlie and I traveled down the Maine coastline into New Hampshire to visit my friend, Lisa, and her wife Sylvia. I will admit, I was a bit nervous to go to their place. Lisa and I have known each other for years through our online MLIS program and social media; however, we had never met face-to-face prior to this visit (I had been threatening/teasing her for years with the possibility of a visit). What can I say? Lisa and Syl are amazing. They are kind, welcoming, and genuinely warm-hearted people. I am so proud to be able to call them my friends and so appreciative of them for inviting me into their home, The Pumpkin House.

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The Pumpkin House (with Blue Steel blocking the amazing view)

The Pumpkin House is a beautiful, quirky, OLD house that Lisa and Syl have made into their home in the last 20 years. It has a warmth that makes you want to curl up on the sofa with a good book and a hot cup of tea (ya’ll know that I am not a tea drinker, but I could not help but love drinking tea with them!).  The bones of the home emit this feeling of story yet untold. I felt that if I quietly sat long enough, the house would tell me a tale of loves lost and found, tragedy and heartbreak, resistance and rebellion, and family ties. Perhaps that is just the romantic in me, but I really felt that the memories of the house were echoing around me and it made me want to learn more.

Lisa is a youth librarian at the Rye Public Library. Her home away from home is perfect, cozy, inviting, and filled with books! Ok – so I am biased. I think that anywhere with books is cozy and inviting. You work in a hospital or clinic and want to warm up your cold, sterile, examination room – add a bookshelf, just one floating one would work. Put a few old and new books on it and it will immediately warm the room up. Patients will be more at ease. Just don’t have a bunch of medical books on there. No one wants to read about leprosy prior to getting an unsightly mole examined. Again . . . I got off subject – back to the Rye Public Library and Librarian Extraordinaire, Lisa.

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Me and Lisa Librarian Extraordinaire!

I suggest you check out the RPL Facebook page or website and see what awesome programs the library has to offer. I also suggest that you check out your own public library. You will be amazed at some of the items, programs, even classes your local library has FOR FREE!!!! Many people think that libraries are becoming a thing of the past and that the internet (especially Google) have made libraries obsolete. This is only because many libraries cannot afford to do the marketing that they need to bring in patrons. Money is hard to come by and often is allocated based on the number of people they reach . . . see the catch-22 here? Support your library, peeps, and remember – Google may give you a 1,000,000,000 answers, but your librarian can help you find the correct one.

I also want to give a shout out to Lisa for the publication of her first book released this week!!! Go to Amazon and find Serving LGBTQ Teens (Practical Guides for Librarians). Support your library. Support your librarians and most of all, support our kids.  Congratulations, Lisa!!! I am so proud of you and all that you have accomplished!

I had a wonderful time exploring parts of New Hampshire with Lisa, Syl, and their friend, Janet/Karen. Ice cream on the coast, eating fresh lobster for the very first time, and watching Charlie explore the land of The Pumpkin House. I wish I had more time to spend with them. Alas, I had other places to go and see, but I do hope that Lisa, Sylvia, and their handsome boy, Nickleby, will let us visit them again sometime in the future (which may be sooner than they realize). Next time I will buy the ice cream at the Beach Plum (or a lobster roll if you would prefer!).

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Nickleby!!!!

While I have been writing this, three deer, a gazillion squirrels, and a google of insects have all been within 15 feet of me. I am going to miss this place when I leave. Thank goodness my aunt and uncle own the land and they love me 😊 I know I will be able to come back at some point . . . right?

Blog posts will be uploaded a lot this week. I have a lot of reflection to do and memories to archive. I guess my reflection is your gain(?). I will also be uploading pictures to my Instagram account and the Facebook account the same day that the blog posts are uploaded. This blog set up does not allow for a lot of pictures. I hope to change the format soon; however, it is just not that important to me right now.

Find me on Instagram (scottsweed). You can also find me on SnapChat (Heather Linstaedt or Better_Heather . . . either one should work). Sometimes I create stories. Sometimes they are interesting.

Until next time – Take care and remember that no matter where you are find what makes you smile.

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Charlie smiling at The Pumpkin House
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